A Florida high school basketball coach and security guard has been arrested for allegedly paying young female students to send him explicit pictures on Snapchat.
Alton Edwards, 28, would allegedly pay his victims between $10 and $75 to send him the images after targeting them through social media, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office charged.
Sheriff William Snyder said his agency got an anonymous tip about Edwards’ scheme — and that they talked to seven teens who said they sent him nude pictures.
Snyder said parents need to be vigilant about the perils of online exploitation.
“Go to your child tonight and say, ‘I want to look in your camera and look at every single app that can hide pictures,’” Snyder told WPTV. “If your children have Snapchat, go home tonight and delete it.”
Edwards appeared to target vulnerable youngsters, Snyder said.
“It looks like his major (modus operandi) would be to find the girls on Snapchat, take a look at their friends and then just start probing,” he told the station “Really, it’s grooming. He finds a child who might be more vulnerable and he gets them to send pictures of them unclothed and sends them cash.”
The department said it will work with Snapchat to recover the images.
According to Snyder, Edwards has apparently been paying for pictures for several years — but no one spoke up until this month.
The Martin County School District is urging parents to get in contact if they think their kids may have been victimized by Edwards.
Edwards was charged with seven counts of solicitation of a minor and was being held Sunday on $350,000 bail, the TC Palm reported.